A simple message with an emoji can disrupt WhatsApp for Android

08 May 2018
Information about a curious bug has appeared on the network. A simple message sent through WhatsApp, can cause a failure of the messenger, and sometimes the smartphone itself.Only Android gadgets are affected by the bug. It is reported that a simple message containing an emoji in the form of a black dot can cause a failure. But on its own it is completely harmless. To disrupt the messenger, the user must touch the emoji. The former host of the British TV show Gadget Geeks, Tom Scott, investigated the bug. He found out that it's not the dot itself that is dangerous, but the set of invisible characters hidden in the emoji. Unicode uses them to determine the right or left orientation of the text. They are used to correctly display text in Hebrew or Arabic. The main problem is that the sequence of hundreds of the above-mentioned characters hidden in the black dot leads to an attempt to repeatedly switch the text orientation. As a result, the engine fails to cope with the processing of the string, which is the cause of the failure. Of course, since it is not the image itself that causes the failure, other emoji can also put WhatsApp out of action. Despite the fact that this bug is relatively harmless and is not capable of causing damage to the gadget or loss of any data, it is not recommended to test it personally. Experts advise either not to click on the emoji in the text, or immediately delete such messages.